It has been fifty years since President Johnson declared war on poverty. Americans are war weary. It is time to end this war! Trillions for dollars have been spent and more Americans are living below the poverty line than when the war started. It is time to end this war now.
I am reminded of a saying I learned many years ago. I don’t know who to attribute it to but it is a wise saying. “You can give a man a fish and he can have a meal. But if you teach the man to fish, he will have food for life.” Basically, a hand out of any kind last only a few moments and the person is still sitting there looking for more. He learns to sit there and wait for more. Then he asks for more and more. We give the poor food stamps, housing, transportation, and now health care. Yet they never get out of poverty. Well, enough is enough.
There are legitimate cases out there. I do not want to demean them. But in my opinion, that is what churches and local non-profit groups are for, not the government. As a police office I worked in a dis-advantaged community. I helped deliver food baskets and toys every Thanksgiving and Christmas. I knew who were the most needy in my community and helped them find resources. Local people working within these areas are more of a help than a far away government who has no knowledge of the situations or how to help individuals.
In the 1990’s we had welfare reform where people were given job training and help to find a job and get a better life. And it worked! But it didn’t go far enough. Then we went back to the same old form of welfare and now there are more people living in poverty. The President wants to double down on the war on poverty. Well, I am tired of fighting this war with the wrong weapons! Teach a man to fish; teach a person a skill, how to handle money, how to provide for himself and his family and you will find the war will be over.